Abstract

Several lines of geophysical evidence suggest that the slab subducted underneath the Tyrrhenian sea is made up of oceanic lithosphere. This requires that before the subduction occurred an oceanic domain was present west of the Apulian Platform. It seems likely that the sediments of the Lagonegro and Imerese-Sicano basins belong to this oceanic domain, and related continental palaeomargin. The sinking and rolling back of this dense oceanic lithosphere controlled, to a large extent, the Neogene geological evolution of the Southern Apennines-Tyrrhenian system. In fact, most of the evolution of the Southern Apennines and Sicilian Maghrebides occurred during oceanic subduction, in an accretionary wedge tectonic setting. Only in the final stages of these evolution, from Late Miocene-Early Pliocene, the accretionary wedge was emplaced on the Apulian Platform, originating the present structural stack of the southern Apennines. In the proposed reconstructions the Apennine Platform had an original intraoceanic position and was successively incorporated within the accretionary wedge. During subduction, the Apennine Platform was detached from its infra-Triassic substratum and deformation of the Lagonegro basin sediments could have occurred before the Liguride-Sicilide accretionary wedge was thrust on top of the Apennine Platform.

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